The Norman Transcript

Homepage

April 13, 2014

Defense rules the day at spring game

NORMAN — Fans want to see offense in spring games, and there were a lot of devotees at Oklahoma’s Red-White Game on Saturday. If 43,500 in attendance were hoping for a big day from quarterback Trevor Knight, they walked out of Owen Field disappointed.

He was one of the reasons the Sooner fan base is so energized and the Sooners enter the 2014 season with such high expectations. Another rationale was on display Saturday, too.

“This is the most complete defense we’ve had since we’ve been here,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “When we get our players back and get our freshmen in here, we can be a very deep football team — at least deeper than we’ve been the last couple years for sure.”

OU’s starting defense — or at least the ones in uniform — were the dominant factor on Saturday. Knight was just 5 for 14 for 53 yards with an interception. Running backs Keith Ford and Alex Ross, who are the Sooners’ top two on the depth chart, combined for just 35 yards on 12 attempts.

The defensive starters just didn’t give up much.

“I felt like we played really good — the ones (starters) especially,” cornerback Zack Sanchez said. “… The defensive line and linebackers did a good job stopping the run and getting pressure on the quarterbacks, so it wasn’t that hard in the back end.”

In all due respect, Knight was without some key ingredients. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who will be the passing game’s focal point next season — sat out with a pulled hamstring. The offensive line was without three likely starters with left tackle Tyrus Thompson and guards Adam Shead and Nila Kasitati all in street clothes.

It makes a difference when a quarterback lacks an established primary receiver or the time to wait for him to get open. OU caused that kind of havoc in the first half on Saturday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
New and Developing
Headlines

Sports

Opinion

Features
Must Read

Editorials

Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Business
Photos


Facebook